• Bee Campus Black Name Only 

    CBC Pollination Garden Event

    Certified Bee Campus 

    In January 2016, Nick Ottensman and Coastal Bend College Trustees Laura Fisher, and Martha Warner contacted Dr. Espinoza to express their interest in the “Bee City USA” and “Bee Campus USA” Campaigns.  These campaigns are designed to promote healthy, sustainable habitats and communities for bees and other pollinators.  While the Bee City and Bee Campus mission is to enhance habitat for all pollinators, the programs are called Bee Campus USA and Bee City USA in recognition of the world's 20,000+ species of the entire bee genera that are our planet's pollinator workhorses. Bees actively seek pollen as their only source of protein--unlike almost all other pollinators that accidentally move pollen from flower to flower.  Unfortunately, These pollinators are experiencing dramatic declines around the world due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and the spread of numerous diseases and parasites.  It is estimated that in the last 35 years we have lost 45% of the bee colonies in the U.S.  This is very disturbing because pollinators play a significant role in sustaining healthy ecosystems and are critical to the propagation of many economically important plant species. Insect pollinators are required for the reproduction of roughly 85% of all flowering plants and over 90 commercially grown crops.  In fact, some plants are 100% dependent on bee pollination.  It is estimated the products resulting from honey bee pollination alone contribute over 24 billion dollars to the U.S. economy annually.   

    President Espinoza and Dean Secord carried the “Bee City USA” initiative forward and met with city manager, Jack Hamlet.  They also gave presentations to Progressive Bee County and the City Counsel.  In April 2016, the City of Beeville agreed to move forward with their proposal to apply for their “Bee City USA” designation.  Soon after, Coastal Bend College sought and was granted “Bee Campus USA” status.  The City of Beeville and Coastal Bend College jointed proclaimed their respective designations as a Bee City and Bee Campus, USA on June 25th.   

     Bee Photo 01 

    Michelle Clark Trevino; Mark Secord; Beeville Mayor David Carabajal; and CBC President Dr. Beatriz Espinoza Proclaim their status as a Bee City and Bee Campus, USA.   

    To date, CBC has established a Bee Campus USA Committee comprised of staff, administrators, faculty, and students.  This committee is working to develop a Bee Campus webpage, a “Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan” to include a list of native, pollinator-friendly plants, and a “Least Toxic Integrated Pest Management” (IPM) plan that will incorporate pollinator-friendly pest management practices at all CBC sites. Committee members will also be working with CBC science faculty to embed a pollinator-awareness module in the freshman biology course.  In the Spring of 2017, pollinator-awareness activities will be included in CBC’s Springfest celebration, and with the help of committee member Nick Ottensman, CBC recently purchased the materials to establish its own apiary (bee colony).  Mr. Ottensman is an experienced apiculturist and will be offering informative workshops in the future.   

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    Bee Campus Committee member Nick Ottensman managing his apiary. Coastal Bend College is excited to have this opportunity to contribute to the mission of sustaining and growing viable populations of pollinators.  Our mild climate combined with an abundance of agriculture and wildflowers make this region extremely attractive to pollinators of all varieties.  We are surrounded by a very diverse brush country ecosystem comprised of dense communities of flowering plants.  In short, it is a pollinator’s paradise.  A strong appreciation of wildlife and outdoor spaces is also part of our culture, and we are keenly aware of the need to protect this heritage.   Coastal Bend College manages over 99 acres of land that provides us with multiple opportunities to develop and maintain pollinator-friendly habitats.  We also host numerous community activities throughout the year that can provide a venue for raising public awareness about the importance of pollinators and their conservation.  We are proud to partner with our local communities and help carry this vital initiative forward.  

    Bee Photo 03